In a bid to bolster paying subscribers to its streaming service, European party-playlist peddler Spotify is cutting the amount of free music users can listen to by half.
Now you’ll only be able to listen to 10 hours a month unless you cough up cash.
While some are irritated the model is moving quickly away from the freemium it began its life with, they should be relieved that they won’t have to listen to any more adverts by handing over a tenner a month – which have become increasingly loathsome and more regular since its inception.
It encourages signing up for the money-a-month model that it makes its dough off, but those on the fence still have half a month to join. They will “enjoy our unrivalled free service as it is today for the first six months,” Spotify said from its bog. After the 1st of May, users will only be able to listen to the same song up to five times, which basically sucks.
Luckily for the internet, Youtube has also become a liability-free way to enjoy music without paying for it. Despite moaning from the content industry there is still a huge catalogue of music to find on Google’s user-submitted video site, and it even offers related artists too! There’s rarely adverts on the older stuff and you don’t have to sit through a McDonalds Man shouting at you to buy his burgers – unlike on Spotify Free.
For the rest of the world there are torrents.
Could it be any coincidence that Spotify is based in Sweden, a country the United States leans on heavily to clamp down on copyright crime and other rumblings that upset Big Content? We dunno. As it stands, music-selling competitors don’t fancy their chances against a US launch. The watered-down new equivalent could well be preparation.
On the other hand, it could just be that Spotify realised its service, while popular, needed to make some more money and there’s nothing like strong-arming and alienating your customers for it. On the official Spotify bog, the responses are a heady mixture between “Laters!”, “Nice while it lasted” and “Nothing’s free”.